Chico State Men’s Golf finish 3rd in opener – The Orion

Chico State Men’s Golf kicked off their season Sept. 12 at The Sonoma State Invitational in Santa Rosa hosted by Sonoma State University. 

The Wildcats started the second day a stroke away from first and ended up tying for third with Cal State Monterey Bay. They finished behind Cal State San Marcos who got first place and Sonoma State who finished second.

The Wildcats were led by senior Chris Colla, who shot a personal best 4-under par-66 and finished with a total of 207 strokes through three rounds, which adds up to a 3-under-par in total. Colla played well enough to earn a tie for second individually and all-tournament honors. 

“I’ve felt really comfortable about where my game is at and it is just a matter of going out there and performing at each event,” Colla said.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association allowed all college athletes one extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. The pandemic had shut down sports across all divisions during the initial outbreak that started in March 2020.

Chico State Men’s Golf Head Coach Nick Green praised the team for playing tough and hanging in there. 

“Everyone played very well on the tougher holes,” Green said, “especially being smart when in tougher positions.” 

Green said players need to improve on things such as managing their game better and being stingier on strokes. Specifically, he talked about how the team had bogeys on par fives. 

Travis Miller finished 20th individually, shooting 9-over-par 219. He started the first two rounds well shooting 71s, but struggled a little bit in the final round shooting a 77. 

Wildcats Kyle Katz and Tyler Ashman tied for 25th individually, both shooting 13-over-par 223. Katz led the Wildcats in birdies with 10. Katz acknowledged Chico State’s performance in the tournament. 

Photo courtesy of Chico State AthleticsChico State golfer Kyle Katz.

“We played well coming down the stretch and finished strong,” Katz said. “We wanted to win, but a tie for third was something to be proud of in our first tournament since March 2020.” 

Rounding out the Wildcats was Mark Noonan who finished 14-over-par 224, which got him 35th individually. Brayden Russo was also there competing individually and ended with a 22-over-par 232, earning him 60th overall. 

The Wildcats’ next competition will be on Oct. 27 in Washington. They will be competing in the Western Washington Invitational which is held at the Loomis Trail Golf Club in Blaine, Washington. 

Mikey Passaglia can be reached at [email protected] or @mikeypassaglia on Twitter.

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